Statements on Verdict of NCA Bombing, South Australia

Following the verdict of the 1994 National Crime Authority bombing the following statements were provided to media.

Statement from Detective Superintendent Des Bay:

Today’s result brings some comfort in knowing that Dominic Perre has finally been held accountable but it does nothing to lessen the harm he inflicted on so many.

The crime has had a profound effect on the lives of many people. Sadly Geoff Bowen (a fellow Police Officer) died and extremely serious injuries were inflicted on solicitor Peter Wallis which impacted the rest of his life, and who sadly passed away in 2018 before we got this result today.

The unimaginable grief inflicted on the families of Geoff and Peter is hard to comprehend, as is the torment of offender remaining for 28 years.

This terrible crime also impacted the lives of many people within law enforcement agencies across the country and the impact of this crime is still felt today.

Today’s verdict reflects 28 years of persistence and perseverance and should send a clear message to all that Police will not give up just because a case is difficult to solve.

This cold case review and investigation was a joint task between SAPOL and the ACIC who combined to conduct an outstanding investigation.

I am extremely proud of the efforts of over 100 law enforcement officers in Australia and overseas involved directly in the investigation over the years, the DPP and everyone who supported the investigations (forensics, specialist support branches in SAPOL, other forces, govt agencies and members of our community)

I also wish to express my gratitude to all of the witnesses in this case who had the courage to not only provide a statement but who never wavered and were committed to coming to court to tell their story 26 years later. As well as the 220 people who rang Crime Stoppers. We thank you.

While today’s outcome cannot undo the harm inflicted in 1994 by Dominic Perre we can all take some comfort in knowing this man horrible will spend the rest of his life in prison and our State will be a safer place for that.

Statement on behalf of Jane Bowen-Sutton

Firstly, we wish to pass on our heartfelt wishes to the Wallis family. We hope today’s verdict will provide some comfort for you, and that Peter may finally rest in peace.

After 28 years, the individual who murdered Geoffrey and caused horrific injuries to Peter Wallis has been convicted. This crime was, and remains unprecedented in its violence against law enforcement in Australia. Despite the years which have passed since 1994, justice has been served today.

Our family have privately thanked the individuals who have contributed significantly towards this verdict, however we wish to publicly acknowledge the following:

  • The South Australia Police, particularly the Major Crime Investigation Branch and Taskforce Cornus, whose determination and persistence over many years gathered the evidence for this brief to proceed
  • The South Australia Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who worked tirelessly in the preparation and trial of this case
  • Past members of the National Crime Authority and Australian Crime Commission, and former and current staff of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, particularly Mr Mario Armiento, a dear friend and colleague of Geoff’s who never lost faith in the pursuit of this matter
  • The Western Australia Police Force for their support over the last 28 years, particularly Commissioner Chris Dawson who ensured this crime remained a focus for continued investigation
  • Friends and colleagues of Geoffrey from across Australia who honour his memory to this day

Whilst many years have passed, this criminal act has largely remained at the forefront of our thoughts. Today’s guilty verdict will allow us to move forward, knowing the individual who caused Geoffrey’s death, amongst other serious crimes, has finally been convicted.

Statement from Genevieve Wallis (daughter of Peter Wallis)

We appreciate being able to stand alongside the Bowen family today.

Peter Wallis was a lawyer. He was also our dad, a son, brother, colleague and friend. His life was inconceivably changed on 2 March 1994 while investigating organised crime.

As a result of the bombing, dad lost his great mate Geoff, his career was cut short and he battled daily with profound physical and emotional scars. There is no doubt, he was a different person in the aftermath.

Dad passed away in 2018, it’s our great sadness that he’s not here today. As a lawyer, and a human, he valued truth and justice above all else. He found great solace in the commitment of the South Australian police, in particular Major Crime, the SA DPP and ASIC to achieve a resolution.

On behalf of the Wallis family, we acknowledge the tireless efforts and resources of the Task Force and Prosecution for helping to achieve this verdict today.

Timeline

  • 2 March 1994 – A parcel bomb addressed to Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Bowen exploded in the offices of National Crime Authority (NCA) on Waymouth Street, Adelaide. Bowen was killed. Peter Wallis (NCA Lawyer) was severely injured.
  • 11 March 1994 – Domenic Perre arrested for murder and attempt murder.
  • 19 July 1994 and 8 August 1994 – Committal hearing conducted at Adelaide Magistrates Court. Case to answer found and committed to stand trial.
  • 9 September 1994 – DPP – (Rofe) entered “Nolle Prosequi” indicating that he did no propose to proceed with the charge due to a lack of evidence.
  • 1996 – Initial SAPOL review did not result in any charges.
  • 6 April 1999 to 17 September 1999 – Coronial Inquest (Wayne Chivell) – 56 days.
  • 2006 – Second SAPOL review did not result in any charges.
  • September 2015 – Task Force Cornus (TFC) – Joint SAPOL and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC – formerly the ACC), investigation commenced. Task Force Cornus included:
  • 15 SAPOL members, ACIC member, and numerous ACIC employees assisted with investigation.
  • The scope of TFC was to simultaneously investigate the following:
    • drug trafficking/any attempt to pervert the course of justice in relation to criminal activity (including the bombing) conducted by Domenic Perre and/or his family members and associates; and
    • comprehensive review into all material that had been compiled throughout the course of the investigation.

Cornus members utilised the expertise of the following persons/agencies:

  • Scotland Yard, UK Police.
  • UK Forensic Explosives Laboratory
  • Dr Anna Sergi – expert in respect to the mafia
  • Milton Keynes CID, Thames Valley Police, UK.
  • Western Australia Police
  • Victoria Police
  • NSW Police
  • Tasmania Police
  • Queensland Police
  • Northern Territory Police
  • Australian Defence Force
  • Department of Correctional Services
  • Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, SA.
  • Interpol
  • SA Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Forensic Science South Australia
  • Netherlands Forensic Institute
  • Australian Federal Police.
  • April 2016 – Review completed. Investigation commenced.
  • An “Opinion File” was drafted by Task Force Cornus investigators and in February 2018 DPP agreed there was a reasonable prospect of conviction with respect charges of murder (Bowen) and attempted murder (Wallis).
  • 1 March 2018 – Domenic Perre was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. He was remanded in custody.
  • Substantial brief of evidence compiled and disclosed to defence.
  • 10 October 2020 – Legal argument commenced to exclude evidence relied upon by the prosecution.
  • 18 January 2021 – Trial proper commenced. Nicholson J presiding. Judge alone. Prosecution case consisted of approximately 170 prosecution witnesses and 372 exhibits were tendered. No defence witnesses were called.
  • 2 June 2021 – Trial concluded.
  • 29 July 2021 – DPP/Defence written and oral submissions concluded.
  • 30 June 2022 – Verdict.

Drug Investigation Results

October 2017 – following people were charged with serious drug charges (cannabis).

  • Domenic Perre (born 5 November 1956) – head of the syndicate
    • 3 counts of trafficking a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug, possess a firearm without a licence x 2 and possessing a silencer
    • Head sentence 7 years, 6 months. NPP 6 years from 15/6/2017 (when taken into custody)
  • Francesco Perre (born 2 July 1960). Brother of Domenic
    • Cultivate a controlled plant, traffic a commercial quantity of a controlled drug, possess a firearm without a licence x 2.
    • Head sentence 5 years. NPP 3 years from 30/7/2018.
  • Rita Perre (born 4 March 1965). Sister in law of Domenic
    • Cultivate a controlled plant, traffic a commercial quantity of a controlled drug.
    • Head sentence 2 years, 3 months. NPP 1 year, 3 months – Suspended from 1/19/2019.
  • Antonio Perre (born 18 June 1990). Nephew of Domenic
    • Cultivate a controlled plant, Traffic a commercial quantity of a controlled drug, possess a firearm without a licence x 2.
    • Head sentence 3 years, 11 months. NPP 2 years – Suspended from 10/7/2020.
  • Vincenzo Sergi (born 13 December 1953). Associate of Domenic
    • Cultivate a controlled plant, 2 counts of trafficking a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug.
    • Head sentence 4 years. NPP 1 year, 6 months from 30/1/2020.
  • Christopher Platt (born 8 April 1974). Associate of Domenic. Member of Decendants OMCG
    • 2 counts of trafficking a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug, cultivating a controlled plant.
    • Head sentence 4 years, 6 months. NPP 2 years, 2 months from 10/7/2020.
  • Gabriel Haidar (born 16 January 1980). Nephew in law of Domenic
    • Trafficking a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug.
    • Head sentence 6 years. NPP 2 years, 6 months from 5/12/2018.
  • Gregorio Pipicella (born 1 July 1980). Nephew in law of Domenic
    • Trafficking a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug and trafficking a controlled drug.
    • Head sentence 1year, 6 months. NPP 9 months, Suspended from 24/2/2021.

Seizures:

Drugs

  • Approximately 42 kilograms of dry cannabis
  • 16 cannabis plants
  • Numerous amounts of hydroponic equipment

Cash

  • $24,055

Firearms

  • 2 x firearms
  • 1 x silencer
  • Approximately 100,000 rounds of assorted ammunition.

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